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You can never return to a time that's already gone.

Episode 36Edit

Maruna's father had three friends who were dear to him; one was a primeval god and the other two were nastikas. When a time came in which his three children needed to be separated from him, the youngest went to Vishnu, the middle to Shuri, and the eldest, Maruna, was taken in by Gandharva at the insistence of his daughter, Shakuntala. Gandharva trained him rigorously, under the pretext that it would help him develop to the next stage. Over the years, he remained stuck in 2nd stage while Shakuntala advanced to 3rd stage relatively quickly. Maruna wished he could just skip ahead to 4th stage because the time in between would be a waste, which led Shakuntala to remark that time lost, no matter how trivial it seems at the moment, was time he'd never get back.

As Maruna misses his own family (except his father), Gandharva misses his daughter. Multiple times and places, gates between the sura and human realm have been opened, and Maruna would ask the suras passing through if they knew of Shakuntala's whereabouts, but so far there had been no word at all. Another gate is to be opened later that day, and Gandharva reveals that he will be returning to the sura realm with "his" permission to continue his search. Maruna has his doubts since the mystery of Shakuntala's fate is the only thing keeping Gandharva at "his" side, but he keeps his feelings to himself.

As Asha begins to discuss their travel route to Kalibloom, Leez wonders why the magician has yet to say anything about the bracelet. Asha, on the other hand, asks Leez why she has not asked any questions about anything that happened since the day she was rescued.

Episode 37Edit

Leez's response to Asha's query is that there are many things she wants to know, but she would rather wait for Asha to tell her things on her own, especially since Leez had previously been told that her opinion about anything did not matter. Asha begins to speak up, but something seems to prevent her (again) from saying what she wanted, other than muttering the gods are unfair. As they leave the city wall to get a meal, Leez thinks to herself that she is not willing to risk asking the wrong question and ending up all alone.

Ruche, who is serving lunch, shrieks that Asha is actually eating her cooking, which only annoys Asha. Soon Lorraine arrives with Airi, the woman Leez had seen in front of the magic store.[1] They came to give Asha a late birthday present, but once Airi begins to rant about hurting whomever took the god-class item out of the box, Asha roughly forces Leez to sit down, tells her to stay put, and takes the others outside. As Airi and Ruche fight among themselves, Lorraine is about to give Asha her present when Airi suddenly receives a message from her older brother via an exchange diary, informing her that a large number of suras has been seen near Rindhallow. They mainly consist of upanis and maras from the Gandharva, Garuda, and Yaksha clans, and there is likely a superior sura leading them.

Near Rindhallow, a Garuda upani asks Maruna if he heard of what happened there during the N0 Cataclysm and the many sura deaths that resulted from Death magic and the summoning of the God of Darkness. Maruna replies that he had, but it was highly unlikely the humans could summon the god again. Once their own numbers increase, he will work on breaking both barriers to open a way for the army to invade the city.

Gandharva is surprised that Kubera opened the gate between realms before he arrived, and becomes suspicious of the god's motives.

Episode 38Edit

When the Cataclysm occurred in the year N0, the primeval god Vishnu separated the races, placing everyone into one of three realms: the god realm, the human realm (for humans and inferior suras), or the sura realm (for superior suras). The suras ended up in the least habitable and most toxic realm, which was especially harsh for the Gandharva clan. Their king, Gandharva, created a semi-purified area to make a livable space for his clan, but it is not pure enough for the young and vulnerable rakshasa, and many clan members are begging him to create an ocean. The #2 strongest clan member, Makara, tries to reassure everyone that their king is doing his best for the sake of the clan (Urvasi scoffs at this, saying it is for Shakuntala), but creating an ocean could kill him. Maruna, who at this time is still in his third stage, seems unaffected by the poisonous environment, unlike Shakuntala, who is in her fourth stage and struggling.

As Gandharva relaxes in a small pool (possibly healing himself since his previous injuries are no longer visible), the king of the Ananta clan, Manasvin, arrives with his underling, Sagara, to discuss a way to save his clan, since Vishnu's promise of giving them an ocean never came to fruition. After hearing the proposition, Gandharva angrily declines to get involved. On his way out, Manasvin reveals that Shakuntala is suffering and putting up a facade to protect her father.

Back in the present time, Kubera explains to Gandharva that the gate only allows travel in one direction at a time, depending on who crosses over first. As Gandharva prepares to pass through the gate to what he presumes will be an isolated region in the sura realm, someone else begins to come through from the other side—Sagara. Gandharva becomes enraged at this apparent double-cross.

Episode 39Edit

While speaking with his Garuda clan underling some distance from the opening gate, Maruna notices that some unexpected suras are coming through the portal from the sura realm because of the sudden scent of prey.

Sagara gleefully greets Gandharva, who in turn demands to know what happened to his daughter. She smirks as she asks how he could possibly not know that she has already been dead for quite some time? Sagara, the current king of the Ananta clan, continues to tactlessly speak to her fellow king about his duty to his clan and his state of mind, until he finally has enough and draws his ice blade. His attack is blocked by one of her rakshasa bodyguards, and Sagara babbles on about how rakshasas in sura form are even stronger than nastikas in the human realm (as nastikas have been unable to completely transform there since the Cataclysm). Maruna abruptly appears by Gandharva's side and makes threatening comments to provoke Sagara, causing her bodyguard to take a swipe at him, which he easily evades; in return, he fires up one of his transcendental attacks. Sagara's group escapes, and Maruna remembers the second bodyguard as someone he used to hunt but would always escape because of his fleeing and hiding transcendentals. As Gandharva prepares to cross over again, he is stopped by Maruna, who sees the incoming army of suras and realizes that the nastika king will have to give up his quest for now.

Episode 40Edit

Maruna had heard stories of how Gandharva was originally a powerful, ruthless, and intimidating nastika, completely different from the person who fostered him, cared for his own family, and worked hard to keep the peace. The only thing preventing him from returning to his old personality and going completely insane is the hope that his daughter is still alive.

Gandharva accuses God Kubera of double-crossing him, who in turn says the gate opened where it was supposed to. This angers Gandharva, but Kubera warns him to keep in line and follow orders unless he wants to abandon his daughter. Gandharva recalls a time when she asked him not to rescue her if she were ever held hostage, because he was much more important to their clan than she was. He then agrees to take down Rindhallow and walks away, visibly holding in his anger. Maruna wonders why God Kubera would do something like this, when a possibility occurs to him which causes him to think of the god's actions as sadistic.

Sagara and her bodyguards, hidden nearby, plot to approach Maruna after the rest of their army finishes passing through the gate.

Back in Atera, Leez asks why they are leaving a few days earlier than expected, and Asha replies that they needed to take a longer route than she had originally planned. When Lorraine begins to discuss her investigation of Leez's village, Asha tosses Leez out of the room and tells her to wash her face. Lorraine then reveals the reading of zero deaths from her device, even though there had been no visible survivors.[2]

Episode 41Edit

As Leez steps out of the ladies room, she spots Brilith deep in thought near Asha's room at the top of the stairs. She calls out to her, but Brilith looks surprised and leaves in a hurry. Leez thinks to herself that her reaction was strange; she never really had a chance to talk to her the entire time she has been in Atera.

Leez packs her things and leaves with Asha to the outer wall of the city, where the magician explains that they need to change their route because of the increased danger around Rindhallow. When Leez asks if she told anyone else where they were going, she is surprised that the answer is no—not even Brilith knows. Leez then asks about Asha's conversation with Lorraine.[3] As Asha begins to respond, she is again prevented by a mysterious force from speaking the truth, so instead she replies that everyone from the village is dead and it was her fault for having a god's name. Leez recalls her mother telling her that her name is special and will bring her much happiness, which she now finds difficult to believe. As Leez becomes upset, Asha asks her if she wants revenge against the sura that attacked her village, because she knows of a way to kill him.

Near Rindhallow, Maruna (with his ears burning) is offered a proposition by Sagara: Since Gandharva lacks the strength to face the magicians of Rindhallow, they could attack the weaker city of Atera instead without breaking Gandharva's promise to Agni, as long as they avoid harming the Fire priest.

Episode 42Edit

Leez questions how it would be possible for her to kill that sura, especially since Asha was not strong enough to defeat him at the time. Asha replies that she will need help from other sources, such as the Sword of Return. She explains that the Goddess of Chaos, Kali, once created a sword that had the power to prevent both suras and gods from regenerating. Asha explains more of its history, its rules of ownership, and the fact that it is currently at the Temple of Chaos without an owner. Leez then realizes this is the reason they are traveling to Kalibloom, and asks if the sword will be enough. Asha replies no, she will need other things as well, but for the time being she needs to focus on drawing the sword first, if possible. When Leez proclaims she will definitely make it possible, Asha is reminded of her younger self having that same determination.

In Rindhallow, Sagara continues to try to get Maruna on board with her plan to attack Atera. He, however, suspects her of having a hidden agenda. He repeats the words of his father regarding the untrustworthiness of snakes and insects, and flies away. Sagara tells her followers to be patient and wait for Maruna to realize how bad off Gandharva really is.

Asha's friends join her at the outer wall to say their goodbyes. She has a brief talk about secrets with Brilith while Airi and Ruche continue to bicker. As Brilith urges Asha to return safely, Leez shouts her goodbyes to the city below and suddenly spots Kaz. Leez begins to question what she is seeing just as Asha casts hoti vayu, and the two are gone. Brilith later recalls this day in regret, as she was unable to tell her friend everything she hid from her. But she concludes that a day, once gone, can never return.

ReferencesEdit


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